Weather A Popular Topic All Around

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After a good 10 straight days of a much-needed soaking, the Rim Country is now in the middle of what we hope will be just a temporary period of low humidity and blue sky days.

But I’m sure we needn’t worry that our monsoon season has prematurely run its course. We still have about six weeks left to expect the wind, hail, driving rain, rolling thunder and brilliant lightning displays that the two-month, late summer monsoon season characteristically brings to Arizona.

I’ve always found it fascinating that most people are very intrigued and spend a whole lot of time talking about the weather.

And just as most people are so attuned to Mother Nature’s weather, the music industry seems to have had a long-standing fascination with the weather as well. So much so that for the last 80 years, songwriters have dedicated entire songs to every element of the weather phenomenon.

In 1933, both the Leo Reisman Orchestra and soloist Ethel Waters scored No. 1 hits with their versions of the song “Stormy Weather.”

In the early 1940s, the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra combined with Frank Sinatra to produce “Blue Skies.” At the end of that decade, popular artists Johnny Mercer and Margaret Whiting teamed to sing “Baby It’s Cold Outside.”

In the 1950s, who could forget Billie Holiday’s “Come Rain or Come Shine” or Johnnie Ray’s “Just Walking in the Rain”?

In the 1960s, the six-member pop band, The Association, lit up the charts with its late-decade No. 1 hit “Windy” and falsetto-singing Lou Christy topped the chart with his “Lightnin’ Strikes.”

Songs about thunder became a popular theme in the 1970s with Leo Sayer producing “Thunder in my Heart” and Elton John recording “Thunder in the Night.”

In the mid-1980s, pop artist Sheena Easton recorded “When Lightning Strikes Again” and Eddie Rabbitt had a No. 1 hit on both the country and pop chart with “I Love a Rainy Night.”

And in the 1990s, country star Garth Brooks scored a No. 1 hit on the country chart with “The Thunder Rolls” and Belinda Carlisle made it into the Top 30 with her “Summer Rain.”

The above recordings are just a few of the many, many songs that pay homage to weather.

This week’s question

One of my favorite weather songs was the 1983 one-hit wonder, “It’s Raining Men,” recorded by the R&B-disco duo from San Francisco of Martha Wash and Izora Redman.

In case you have forgotten the lyrics, they go like this:

Get ready, all you lonely girls

And leave those umbrellas at home.

Humidity is rising,

Barometer’s getting low.

According to all sources,

The street’s the place to go.

Cause tonight for the first time,

Just about half-past ten,

For the first time in history,

It’s gonna start raining men.

This week’s question is: What is the recording name of the duo that sang the fun and peppy dance hit “It’s Raining Men”? Was it A) The Lightning Seeds, B) Earth, Wind & Fire, C) Fire and Rain or D) The Weather Girls?

Be the fourth caller with the right answer and you’ll win a CD of your favorite singer or genre. Good luck!

Last week’s question

Last week’s question asked if you could name the recording artists/comedians that represented the mainstream embodiment of the attitudes and lifestyles of the underground drug culture of the 1970s.

The duo’s top three songs were “Basketball Jones featuring Tyrone Shoelaces,” “Sister Mary Elephant (Shudd-Up),” and “Earache My Eye.”

The choices were A) Chad & Jeremy, B) Cheech & Chong, C) Hall & Oates and D) Sonny & Cher.

The correct answer was Cheech & Chong.

Chad & Jeremy were a soft-rock 1960s duo from London, England. Their top hit was 1964’s “A Summer Song,” which peaked at No. 7.

Hall & Oats (Daryl Hall and John Oates) charted hits from 1974-1991. With their 33 songs on Billboard’s Hot 100 Chart (six topping the chart), they passed the Everly Brothers as the No. 1 charting duo of the rock era.

Husband-and-wife duo Sonny & Cher debuted on the music scene in 1965 with their big hit “I Got You Babe” and recorded together until their marriage break-up in 1975. Sonny died in a skiing accident in 1998 (age 62).

Congratulations to last week’s first-time music trivia winner Steven Kamp, who lives in Tonto Village.

Steven was born in New York City and grew up in upstate Syracuse. He graduated from the University of New York with a bachelor’s degree in psychology. He and his wife, Trina, have been married for 34 years and have four children. They moved from Mesa to Tonto Village in 1987.

Steven currently teaches literature at the Shelby School in Tonto Village, a private school Trina founded. In his spare time, he enjoys spending time with the couple’s grandchildren.

Steven’s favorite music genres are 1960s and ’70s classic rock, with the Beatles, Rolling Stones and Bob Dylan topping his favorite artist list.

Have a great week. (And pray for more rain!)

DJ Craig, (928) 468-1482

Web site: www.djcraiginpayson.com

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